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E-Blast Friday, December 3, 2023

But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah,

for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,

and you will name him John.  You will have joy and gladness,

and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord..."

Luke 1:13-15 


Welcome to Advent!  Hope, Peace, Love, Joy - What are you expecting this Advent season?  Where are you looking for Jesus to appear?  Could God show up in an unexpected place?  


This Sunday is the First Sunday in Advent - the Sunday of Hope!  Our scripture will be Luke 1:5-23 and we will look at the story of Uncle Zechariah and Aunt Elizabeth and how God shows up unexpectedly, even to faithful people.  We will share in Holy Communion.  


Combined Sunday School this Sunday - Join us at 10 AM in the Fellowship Hall for "Compassion" The Hanging of the Greens.  There will be a Sunday School lesson for all ages with decorating the Compassion Tree and making blessing bags.  See the announcement below! 


Next Sunday is Cantata Sunday!   At both services , the 2023 Cantata Choir will present "Love; A Gospel Christmas Celebration."  Love Came Down at Christmas!  This is the perfect time to invite friends, neighbors, and family to enjoy great music and focus on the love of the season.      


Join us this Sunday in person or online!  You can access our live stream from the website (  Click on "Sermons" and then "Live Steam."  You may also join us directly on YouTube at Bridgewater UMC Virginia and click on the LIVE tab.


Seeking God with you in unexpected places,


Pastor Mary


Worship Volunteers!  Thank you for Serving!


Sunday's Worship Volunteers


8:30 AM - BJ Jenkins & Bettye Newman

11AM -  Sandra Stroud & Kathi Hemmis



8:30 AM -Ed  Craun & Marc Craun

11 AM – Dennis Rawley & Sam Wright



8:30 AM –  Johna McFArland

11 AM - Christy Kipps


Audio Visual

8:30 AM  - Scott Ridder

11 AM – Tony Mancari



8:30 AM - Madelyn/Nolan

11AM - David Kipps


Bus Ministry

8:30 AM -  Rodney Hildebrand

11AM - Chuck Kern

The combined Sunday School classes will participate in the "Hanging of the Greens" in the Fellowship Hall on Dec 3rd at  9:45 AM.  Everyone is invited!


10:00 AM Sunday School lesson for all ages -"What Is Compassion?" Video & discussion


Decorating the “Tree of Compassion”


Make it and take it Blessing Bags.


Please join us and bring your family!


Thanks!  Johna McFarland

Next Sunday!  Cantata Sunday, December 10

DUM BUM Youth News

I hope you all are staying warm and that your Thanksgivings were filled with good food and good company! Here's what's new with our youth! 


Dec 5, 12 & 19: S'more Jesus: Grinch Edition! S'More Jesus: The Grinch Edition coming Tuesdays in December from 5:30-7pm at Dayton UMC. Join Pastor Jenny as we explore the classic holiday favorite, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, and how it relates to our faith. Dinner will be provided!

Dec 8-9: Christmas Lock-In!! Join us at BUMC from 5pm on Friday to 9am on Saturday!! We will be shopping for a family in need (So I need chaperones!! Sign up in the link as well- I still need one more chaperone over night - could be male or female!) as well as having fun games and a gift exchange!!

Dec 14: Loads of Love! This is our rescheduled date to go over to Open Doors and wash laundry for those experiencing homelessness! Meet at Dayton UMC at 7pm and we will bus to the laundromat!

And as always, what's coming up! 

1/7/24: Vespers at Bridgewater Retirement Community

1/20/24: Serving Lunch at H’burg Baptist Church

Christmas Coat Drive

for the Children's Clothes Closet

Hope Circle will be collecting new or gently used coats for girls and boys in sizes 2 T - XL (18/20) during the Christmas season. 

Please place in the marked containers in the hallway – thank you for your support of this mission outreach project! ?? contact Dawn Kern 540-246-9478

Please return by December 31st.


Video Conversations with Bishop Sue
"Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow"

I ran across an excellent series of videos produced on YouTube by the Virginia Annual Conference called "Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow: God's Vision for the Next Chapter of the United Methodist Church."  The videos are approximately one hour long.  All of them are conversation with our Bishop, Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, and leaders in the UMC.  Here is the link to the first one:


Video 1 - "Unrelenting Grace" with Bishop Ken Carder, Bishop of the Western North Carolina Conference


Video 2 - "Early Methodists and the Methodist Movement" with Dr. Ashley Bogan, Secretary for Archives and History


Video 3 - "How Do United Methodists Approach Scripture?"  with Dr. Paul Chilcote and Dr. Steve Harper


Video 4 - "What Conversations do we need to Have?" with Dr. Byron Thomas DS in the North Georgia Conference and Rev. Dr. Vance Ross, a pastor in the N. GA Conf


Video 5 - "The Current Movement in the VA Conference" - Rev. Dr. Jonathan Page and Dwayne Stinson, VA Conference Directors of Connectional Ministries


Pastor Mary

Unexpected Places - Heather Sorensen

Our Advent Sermon Series will reflect on the Unexpected People and Places in the Christmas Story.  There are unexpected places -- like the Holy of Holies in the Temple, the Palace of King Herod, an ordinary hillside, a stable instead of an inn.  And unexpected people like Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Zechariah, shepherds, Magi.  People find themselves expecting the unexpected.  How can we expect the unexpected this Advent season?  Will God show up for even us?  Will the word of God come from an unexpected person or place?  Here are the words to the anthem for Sunday.  Jesus is always with us, when the unexpected happens.  In Advent, we pray and expect Jesus to come.  


“I know the plans I have in store,” You whisper in my ear,
Words of affirmation, things I need to hear.
But of all the things You planned for me, I never would have guessed
That bringing me right here is what You call Your best.


But here I am in this unexpected place; a place I did not ask for,
But one that’s filled with grace.
And here I am in this room I did not plan,
But Jesus, You are here, You are grace, You are with me
In this unexpected place.


And in this room, I’ll learn the truth that
Blessed are the poor; the scorned, those who mourn.
And in this room, You’ll teach me that this time is not in vain.
There’s purpose for the pain, and beauty still remains.


So may we find the fulness that comes from empty spaces.
Jesus waits for us in these unexpected places.


If you find yourself in an unexpected place, a place you did not ask for,
But, oh friend, there is grace.
If you find yourself in a room of emptiness,
Jesus is there, Jesus is grace, Jesus is with you in this unexpected place.


© 2019 Hal Leonard LLC

                                               Happy December Birthdays - December 1st - 7th

Happy Birthday to:

Dottie Sharpe  (2)

Mary Hall  (2)

Tom Snook  (3)

Jaxon Koogler  (3)

Diana Miles  (3)

Tara Vetting  (7)

Our Old Doors are Available

Large Hardwood doors from our church painted RED.  If anyone interested in the old front doors call Gregg Kiracofe on (540) 479-0764. 

Bridgewater UMC is making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!  

Contact Us

219 N Main Street

Bridgewater, VA 22812

Call Us : 540-828-0890

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